Frances Drennen and Earle Drennen opened Manna Grocery and Deli in Tuscaloosa on April 29, 1980. Their goal was to make sure the area had access to the best selection of natural foods and dietary supplements available.
“At the time, those products weren’t as popular,” said Frances. “So, I guess it was never about making money for us. It was about helping our customers and educating them about the road to better health.”
That focus on attentive customer service is what Frances attributes their continued success over the years. And now, nearly 40 years later, the business has grown with the increase in consumer discernment when it comes to health products and food.
“I feel like we, and others in the industry like us, have been instrumental in shifting the awareness and the culture. Now more people understand how much it matters what you are eating, how it was grown, and how it was prepared,” explained Frances.
Today, Manna Grocery and Deli not only carries natural products and dietary supplements, they also offer a large selection of specialty, ethic and gourmet foods. In the back of the store, the Deli serves up natural, healthy lunch and dinner options, all created in-house with original recipes. Frances and Earle are passionate about supporting local, seasonal products in their produce and grocery area.
“It’s the hardest part of the business, but also the part that makes me the most proud – that we serve healthy, clean food to our customers,” she added.
On any given day, you’ll find a large and dedicated lunch crowd inside Manna Grocery and Deli. Many customers come by daily for a bite to eat.
“Simply put, we are dedicated to the health and well-being of our customers and our community. And I hope people feel that the moment they walk in the door,” said Frances.
You can visit Manna Grocery and Deli in the Meadowbrook Shopping Center at 2350 McFarland Blvd E. in Tuscaloosa. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.